Magazine Sensa – October 2015
Life is movement which determines our health, emotions, psyche, optimism, wisdom and intelligence, the power of decision-making, joy and happiness. Life is the harmony and connection of Man, Earth and Sky, inhalation and awareness of the present moment. Mario Topolšek tells us how we can achieve this.
“I received my first piece of advice about how to practice in 1975 in Okinawa, Japan. I came to Okinawa with a pure heart and with a sincere desire to learn the art of the “Crane, Dragon and Tiger”. I practiced with determination and discipline and my master Kanei Uechi said to me one day, ‘Mario San, you just practice diligently, with will, discipline and respect, and one day your body will tell you whether you have truly learnt.’ These words of my master gave my body a stimulus of information, and referred to something which is necessary for every sincere practitioner of any art. If I had come to Okinawa with a closed heart and mind, I wouldn’t have been able to receive the transfer of knowledge which occurred at that moment. I probably would have stopped practicing long ago, remaining on the periphery of knowledge and life itself. We need to understand that we either are or are not, that there are no compromises, weaknesses and manipulations,” says Mario Topolšek, teacher and founder of the school of Uechi Ryu Karate, Tai Chi Chuan and Yiquan, a man who brought these noble arts and established them in our region, thanks to his intuition and dedicated work.
A life of determination, perseverance, hard work and experience is inscribed on his face, in his gaze which embraces, analyzes, understands and accepts. After 50 years of practice, training, courage to walk the authentic path, the path of trust, Mario Topolšek knows that the Way of the Heart, no matter how difficult and challenging, is the only true path worth following and living, that each person’s path is unique and that one can only set forth on this path when one is ready. Only then will all the lessons that come further the growth of consciousness of not only individualas but of mankind as a whole.
Long ago in China there were people who were called “barefoot doctors”. They visited remote mountain villages and helped people with their knowledge of therapeutic chi gong exercises (chi gong – the art of vital life energy), medicinal herbs, massage of energy points and acupuncture. At the time it was thought that the best “barefoot doctor” was the one who had no patients. This meant that he gave people wise advice on how to maintain their good health.
The dedicated work of master Mario Topolšek has been acknowledged through the many international awards he has received for the spreading and teaching of original arts, both in our country and abroad. He is the author of many books and the initiator of numerous projects and seminars that take place in Europe. Presently he lives in the Czech Republic and is the director of the European Uechi Karate Federation (EUKF) and the International Taichigong Academy (ITA).
“We should keep in mind that life is free, that it flows, that it is eternally new and that it renews itself. The attainment of joy, happiness and well-being, health and longevity depends on our thoughts, desires and ambitions, our virtues and feelings, the quality and purity of the essential substances – the energy coming from food, water and air,” wrote Master Topolšek on the occasion of the publication of the first book in a three-part series, The Spontaneous Circle – the Path of Health and the Art. This year, to celebrate 50 years of work, he published the third book The Development of Internal Knowledge, which tells us how to improve and expand our creative possibilities, the abilities of our mind and body, how to live a life filled with beauty, joy, happiness, how to attain longevity and to achieve unity of mind, energy and body. If you desire to realize your Self and discover this beautiful treasure-trove of knowledge, this interview comes as a gift and guidance on how to root yourself in peace and grow in the heart.
For years you have studied ancient knowledge and martial arts, which you have integrated and directed towards the improvement of health and quality of life. Thanks to your intuition and dedicated work, you have established the wisdom of these noble arts in our region, at a time when they were little known and accepted. How many people truly received that knowledge, with body, mind and soul, how many are dedicated to it nowadays? Are people nowadays more superficial, wanting quick results, or are they more dedicated, feeling the pressure of a new age of rapid change?
Fifty years ago, when I started to practice and learn the art, it was another time and people were different, but there were always those who wanted success quickly, without no wish to truly learn. The martial art of karate was very popular amongst the young and millions of people throughout the world practiced it. In the West, karate was presented as a sports discipline, which led me to follow my intuition and travel to the East to learn the art. Today it is difficult for people to dedicate time to themselves as life is rapid and stressful. Amongst all generations, most individuals lack awareness – they live their lives on automatic pilot. This means they lack the possibility to enact any positive change in their life, they lack the ability to regenerate and detoxify their mind, their emotions and physical body. In short, they have chosen to be the “victims” of their wrong habits and way of life. The consequence of this is much suffering and disease!
Man has created and lives in a negative field of habits and patterns of fear, insecurity and constant stress. These negative vibrations undermine the correct functioning of the brain and emotions in a very profound way, and most people are not aware of this. One should understand that everything resides in the consciousness of man, who is either limited or unlimited, wise or ignorant, blocked or free. Everything is as man thinks, desires or feels it is. However, not everything is this bleak. I think that mankind is slowly awakening. There is growing interest in self-knowledge and the activation of one own’s natural potentials.
In your new book The Development of Internal Knowledge you talk about the alchemy of self-realization and the perfection of the physical body, which is the treasure house of knowledge. In what ways can we realize our Self, our natural potentials and abilities?
We can only know our Self, our potentials and abilities through the medium of our body, which is a perfect mechanism, created for movement and the maintaining of life itself. Our body is a living treasury of knowledge which we must realize, feel and understand. It contains all the information of our creative life – from the depths of ignorance to infinite knowledge. In my opinion, this is the purpose of human existence. The human body in movement is a simple test – a personality test, it shows the vibration of each person, of their mental and emotional abilities, of their energy and physical capabilities, which they display at any given moment. The moving human body does not lie.
One should understand that everything resides in the consciousness of man, who is either limited or unlimited, wise or ignorant, blocked or free. Everything is as man thinks, desires or feels it is. However, not everything is this bleak. I think that mankind is slowly awakening. There is growing interest in self-knowledge and the activation of one own’s natural potentials.
It tells the truth about the person’s current state on all levels. It shows who we really are at this moment in our lives. Due to wrong understanding, many people neglect or reject their bodies, which have been serving them faithfully all their lives. It is necessary to understand that a successful and natural use of the body as a whole in any given method or discipline and in everyday life, depends on a person’s awareness of feeling. This brings about an awareness of our fine sensory system, proprioception, which is constantly adjusting every inch of our body according to our needs. One should also keep in mind that the body is important as all knowledge and teachings pass through it, on the physical, energy and spiritual level of realization. This ability of ours is present at every moment in our life – the realization of our natural potential and abilities was never prohibited, the only thing that is required is that we desire it sincerely. The greatest knowledge in this world is the realization of the Self. Without this realization, what good is all the knowledge and information in the world?!
Your new book The Spontaneous Circle – the Path of Health and the Art, as well as the previous ones including The Tao of the Perfected Man are full of useful, practical and applicable advice and examples of exercises for those who are not practitioners of tai chi chuan and martial arts but who wish to improve themselves and expand their knowledge. Could you tell us what message you wanted to communicate with the new book? What is it that you would like to awaken in the reader? What would you like the readers of your new book to understand, acquire, apply and cultivate?
My new book came out on occasion of 50 years of my work, practice, research and transmission of the therapeutic and martial aspect of the Art. This book contains much useful information, virtually or completely unknown, regarding how to live a fulfilling life, prevention and how to positively solve problems through the understanding and removal of their causes. I have been to Japan and China many times and there I learnt and perfected what I know, so this book contains the original teachings on the essence of the art of living in harmony with the energies of the Earth and Sky. It also contains a condensation of the basic principle of the unity of mind-consciousness and emotion-feeling with the physical body in the present moment. All of these things are the essence of man’s transformation on an infinite scale, from the depths of ignorance to infinite knowledge and Self-realization, for Self-realization is the only thing that Is. Everything else is a fleeting illusion of dual opposition. Long ago in China there were people who were called “barefoot doctors”. They visited remote mountain villages and helped people with their knowledge of therapeutic chi gong exercises (chi gong – the art of vital life energy), medicinal herbs, massage of energy points and acupuncture. At the time it was thought that the best “barefoot doctor” was the one who had no patients. This meant that he gave people wise advice on how to maintain their good health. Grateful people, those who did not have any ailments, would leave these “barefoot doctors” food and money on their windowsills, each according to their means. My new book is similar to what the “barefoot doctors” transmitted. It provides advice on how to accept oneself as you truly are – without false ego-projections – how to change wrong convictions about oneself and the world around you. It talks about responsibility, respect and love towards oneself.
If we are present in unity and silence of body and mind, then we are in Oneness, then we can follow the natural path of the alchemy of life and the art. How can we achieve this?
Earth, where we live, is governed by the linear duality of things, for example, light and dark, night and day, summer and winter, female and male, love and hate, north and south. This dual opposition is, it would seem, the main test in the school of life on Earth, a lesson we must learn, understand and solve. This is, it appears, the basic problem that for centuries has created confusion and misunderstanding in the minds of men who practice the existing methods of physical, energy and spiritual improvement. We should understand that in the limitations of duality nothing is good and right – everything is disconnected. The mind is full of chaotic thoughts, the heart is restless and full of muddled feelings and emotions, the physical body is disjointed and blocked, filled with tension and stress, brain functions are fragmented – the linear mind is not even conscious of having a body. I could go on. In this low vibration of opposition it is possible to mechanically strengthen and stretch one’s body (muscles). The question is: how is it possible to realize one’s self and one’s infinite potential in this dense and low vibration of dual opposition, which represents ignorance and its limited forms and methods? This is impossible in dual vibration. However, if I have access to a true method, it should show me the way to realize and understand how to raise my mind and body to a higher level, the level of the Present Moment, of the silent mind and still heart. When we are present and when we realize the Present Moment, then we contain everything in Oneness and dual opposition (ignorance) simply disappears. When we feel our body with full awareness, this creates deep relaxation and brain waves oscillate at 7-8 Hz, which is the vibration of peace, relaxation and rest. This is the prerequisite for the perfect laboratory of our body to start to regenerate and detoxify, to substitute dense, depleted and sick energy inside us with the fresh and infinite energy of space – energy waiting for us to open our minds, feelings and body, allowing it to enter. This is the missing link in realization and understanding. It’s simple, isn’t it?
In what way can knowledge and skill acquired through the practice of Yiquan be applied in everyday life and situations?
In dual opposition, the linear mind separates everything and, thus, therapeutic arts are one, martial arts are another, energy arts are yet something else; the use of consciousness, the use of emotions and feelings, all of these are separated. This is how many methods practiced today are conceived. How can man who is deeply fragmented realize, understand and learn something? All of these things should be one. If we would look inside our body, we would see that it is both a Great Warrior and Therapist, from the day we were born to our last breath. It is constantly fighting viruses, bacteria, germs and parasites of all kinds, cancerous cells and a myriad of hazardous things that attack and undermine the health of our body, which loves and protects us. And how does man respond to the love of his body? With his wrong habits and convictions, he creates further destruction in his body and obstruct its love and protection! Is this normal?! If you understand the martial and therapeutic aspect of their body which is in Oneness, you have set forth on the path of the warrior, the path of realization of the Self. Few will be able to defeat you then. From the very first day, Yiquan teaches the practitioner about the integration of mind and body, of vital energy and spirit, how to maintain Oneness and how to apply it in everyday life.
What can be our motivation and our guiding light at challenging times?
When faced with challenging moments and problems of any kind, simply be present in the silence of your Being. The vibration of the present moment is peace and silence, this is the place where perfect order and harmony exist. This is the place to which the dense vibration of chaos and problems of the dual world does not have access. This is the place where you are protected. When you are present and when you feel, you are automatically rooted, centered (mentally and physically). This means that the vibration of the problem is also rooted. If this happens, the negative vibration becomes positive. Long ago, Nikola Tesla said that the oscillation of the stronger field suppresses the weaker field and when this happens, the weaker field (problems and challenges) begin to oscillate with the positive vibration of the more powerful field. Do not forget, you are a warrior!